9 Reasons Joe West & The Flash Have The Most Lovable Father/Son Relationship On TV

Father figures have a long comic book history of molding young superheroes. Whether they're especially good, particularly bad, gone missing, or long dead, the dads of our protagonists usually have a significant impact on the story's mythology and on their sons' world-saving motivation. (Thomas Wayne, Jor El, Howard Stark... I could keep going.) On The Flash , Barry Allen has two father figures who have shaped his life. Three, if we count mentor Harrison Wells — before Barry decided to stop trusting him, that is. So, let's not.

Biological dad Henry is stuck in prison taking the rap for his wife's murder, thereby providing Barry with an ultimate hero goal of seeing justice served. He's the father who reminds Barry that bad things happen to good people, and that some wrongs can't necessarily be righted. He loves Barry, and their bond has proven stronger than the circumstances that have kept them apart. But I fully believe that The Flash just wouldn't be The Flash without his adoptive dad, Detective Joe West.

Joe is the father who shows Barry that, while Henry's situation is dire, there's a lot that The Flash can do for the people of Central City in the meantime. He gave Barry a second chance at a real childhood. Joe raised an optimist, beating out the tremendous odds that Barry would grow up to be a sullen jerk, if not a total monster. And it's a relationship that benefits both men equally. They're partners and family, in all the best ways.

Here are nine reasons why, when it comes to fathers and sons of all kinds, Barry and Joe are just the greatest.

1. Sure, There's A City To Save, But Sometimes They Can Just Hang Out

Even The Flash needs some down time. Cisco and Caitlin are true friends, but it's good for Barry to escape the lab every once in a while. Iris is his oldest pal, but things are pretty awkward there at the moment. That leaves Joe, whose company Barry genuinely enjoys. The feeling is mutual — and also adorable.

2. They Go Way Back

Joe saw Barry through a lot of his formative years. Puberty, girls, personal essays for college applications — those were all Joe's domain, and Barry is well aware of the commitment that kind of parenting takes.

3. Joe Isn't Trying To Replace Henry

Joe knows how important Barry's biological dad is to him, and it's so necessary for Barry to be able to talk it out with someone who knows his family tragedy all too well.

4. Joe Finds Barry's Love For Iris Utterly Hilarious

Of all the ways Joe could feel about this Shakespearean love triangle involving his adoptive son, trusted partner, and only daughter... this is truly the best case scenario.

5. They Know When To Hug It Out

It's just nice to see two grown men show each other a little affection.

6. Joe Continues To Be Delighted By Barry's Powers

I mean, they do come in handy around the house.

7. But He Also Loves The Guy Behind The Mask

Barry needs to know that his powers don't constitute his entire worth, and he always will, as long as Joe's around. Joe would rather play 18 holes and then have some beers with Harrison Wells than let Barry think that being The Flash is the only thing that makes him special.

8. They Make A Fine Pair Of Roomies

I love that it took Barry and Joe about 15 seconds to realize that neither one of them needed to put on a brave face and be alone. It's hard out there for a couple of Central City heroes; why not come home to each other at the end of the day?

9. Above All, They're Family

They prove you don't need to share genes to have a beautiful father/son relationship.

Images: Diyah Pera/The CW; theflashland, weslehgibbons, montrygreen, flashallens (2), barry-and-iris, herodukes, onceland (2)/Tumblr